Why your social media might cost you your next job.

Social media is all fun and games until you lose your job or prospective clients over your social media remarks. There have been cases of people especially those in the limelight losing funding or job opportunities over something they posted online. Take Kevin Hart for instance, he might be the funniest guy ever, we welcome you to fight us on that. But even his jokes couldn’t get him out of the backlash that came after tweets that were termed homophobic surfaced right before he was announced as the official host of the Oscars last year (2019). 

Said tweets were from back in 2009 and 2011, literally a decade ago! You can say it with us, social media never forgets. And this is a classic example of anything you say on social media can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion.

In an era where brands are very particular about their image and keeping their investors and clients happy, they will let you lose in a matter of seconds if the backlash is putting their brand at risk.  

Closer home, the Tourism Ministry announced through a gazette notice the appointment of Pauline Njoroge to the Tourism Regulatory Authority board. Days later, on 7th August tourism minister Najib Balala publicly announced the sacking of Njoroge owing to resurfacing of a Facebook post she made bad-mouthing the Nairobi National Park.

In October 2019, Pauline Njoroge penned a lengthy post on her Facebook page saying:

“By the way, how much revenue does the Nairobi National Park bring to this country? Isn’t there much more that can be done with it that can add more value? The only selling point of that park is that ‘It’s the only national park in a capital city in the world’ beyond that glamorous title, what else does it offer? The orphanage and the nature walk make economic sense…But the park? It does not make sense that in a congested city like Nairobi we can afford to have acres and acres of land in the name of a park when the is literally bursting at the seams with people…We even have to hold discussions on rerouting the SGR so as to have a park that is economically redundant!”

In a statement Balala said.

“I am revoking Pauline Njoroge’s appointment as a board member of the Tourism Regulatory Authority because we have just seen what she had tweeted in the past that Nairobi National Park was useless. We do not want to be associated with such people and such thinking”

Such stan implications don’t only apply to people that run for public positions or appointments. Yes, the fact that her appointment was posted on a national daily did have a role to play, in that all of Facebook saw it and immediately social media detectives got busy at work and unearthed something tarnishing. But the same can happen to you and me. Ordinary users of the internet. Why, you ask? In recent times, interviewers have moved to insisting that you add your social media handles to your resume. The assumption being, you are what you post and promote on social media. And they in turn use these platforms to get a better feel of who you are. At Charleson Group, this has been our tradition since 3 years ago. We have in turn managed to hire people who align with our goals and who think like us. We are not alone though, some of our clients like CarKey Masters, admitted to the same.

Do you now see why what you post and comment on matters? With that said, here are 7 things you should never share on social media. Say it with us again, because social media never forgets! 

Avoid tribal/ racist remarks. Don’t be the perk standing in the way of progress. A joke now can potentially rub people the wrong way. So purpose to do better in not promoting discrimination or hate speech against anyone else. Online and offline.

Fake news. According to Wikipedia, fake news is a form of news consisting of deliberate misinformation or fabricated stories. It is very easy for fake news to spread fast through social media given how fast a thing goes viral on these platforms. Before you share something on your timeline, ask yourself; do i have verifiable facts, sources or quotes? If not, please abstain from sharing falsehoods.

Profanity. First, saying that 4 letter word isn’t exactly a crime but if the majority of the content on your page is just you cursing out at people be it by posting videos with vulgar language or vulgar captions and  comments. You need to rethink it because what you post is literally how you make a first impression on social media. Keep it clean.

Negative opinions about your job/employer or colleagues. If prospective employers stumble upon tweets on how  you bad mouthed your last employer or colleagues they are likely to pass up on hiring you. Doesn’t matter how qualified you are, one of the things employers look for is integrity.

Abusive content. There’s nothing wrong with self-expression, but again, be careful with how far you decide to go with the rants you put out there. As you many come across as overly aggressive to anyone you hope to work with in the future. 

Threats. No, it’s not OK to threaten others, no matter their “crime” . Wishing someone ill, whether it is a friend, family member, colleague, politician, celebrity, whatever. If you don’t like someone else, social media is not the place to be hurling threats of any kind. It can come back to bite you. 

Illegal content. This could not only have you lose out on a job , but it could even end up in your arrest. Marking a permanent record that you have to explain in any official business engagements in future. Is leaking that private information on someone else really worth it?

In conclusion, ask yourself if anything you’ve ever posted falls under any of these categories, and go take it down. Purpose to do better. To an onlooker, you are what you post. So in a world full of staged posts, do your best to represent an authentic you. 

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